When I went to Jazz Fest and found vegan red beans and rice, I felt like I'd won the lotto. Well, multiply that by about a thousand and that's what it was like to walk into the Third Annual Nola Veggie Fest - the New Orleans Vegan Food Festival. It's really like a festival designed specifically for me, if you think about it. It's refreshing to be in a space filled with like-minded people who have come together to create this type of event.
My duty at the fest was to help the amazing KC of KC's Babycakes sell her delish vegan cupcakes. But before I settled in I just had to make the rounds through the enormous space of the Zeitgeist - which was filled to the brim with fantastic veg organizations and products. Notably, in under an hour I finally became a member of the New Orleans Food Co-Op and met Jasmin Singer of Our Hen House. Not bad eh?
I also sampled delicious vegan foods and beverages like a coconut water green tea cocktail from Super Food Bar. I do believe I'll be visiting him on Magazine Street for another one of those. Most. Refreshing. Thing. Evar! I'm also interested to check out Velvet, bravely located directly across the street from Whole Foods on Magazine. Vegan tea cakes? Yes thank you.
Wayfare Foods, Tofurkey, Whole Soy & Co., Coconut Bliss, and many (many, many) others were in attendance. There was so much to see and do and sample that I could barely keep up with tweeting it all for the Vegan Etsy Team and NOiG - Twitter is a big job when there's so much to take pictures of! Like, for instance, the amazing stacks of BOOKS!!
When I returned to my station, vegan cupcakes were flying off of KC's table. And why not - vegan cupcakes practically sell themselves! It was great chatting with fest-goers, who ranged from dedicated vegans to the veg-curious. That's the beauty of cupcakes (and festivals full of open-minded people): they bring everyone together.
As I was leaving the fest and thought my day was done, I encountered what may have been the most exciting part of the whole day: the food tent for Naturally Naw'lins Vegan Cuisine. This young gentleman, Mr. Timothy Moore, doesn't have a storefront yet. But I do mean yet. His food is amazing! Totally vegan, totally delicious "soul food" style cooking, he is sure to be a rising star in the Nola veg world. I'll be keeping an eye out for him, and keeping you posted!
It was a super fun day, and I made connections with people in the Nola veg community that I hope to see more of in the near future. Who knows, at Veggie Fest 2012 I may have a table of my own. ;)